5 Elements Customers Want in Managed IT Support
Using managed IT services is crucial to the success of modern SMBs. Working with providers of IT services means you don’t need to hire or maintain in-house technology experts. Your managed IT services provider will function as an outsourced IT department. This, in turn, will provide you with access to the most comprehensive IT systems (the kind that large enterprises maintain) in an affordable manner.
Providers of managed IT support also see to it that your data and technology always remain secure and are accessible 24/7. This will empower you to compete with the big guns in your industry with more confidence.
However, for all of the above to materialize, you need to join hands with the managed IT services provider (or MSP) that’s right for your business.
So, how do you pick one?
Here are five factors to consider.
- Ability to Align with Your Business IT Needs
If chosen wisely, your MSP will become an essential part of your business. They will work with you to take your business to greater heights by understanding your goals and objectives. For this, you will need an IT partner who is capable of aligning their strategy with your business needs to help it tap every opportunity, grow, and stay ahead of competitors.
Proper alignment of your IT and business goals can lead to more efficient processes, quicker response times, and optimized business functioning. It equips everyone in your business to work towards a common goal. The IT systems will provide much-needed support to your business strategy, driving greater success.
It will also become easier for businesses to control and manage risks and compliance issues. Business agility will improve, enabling it to respond rapidly to changes. Through the alignment of business and IT needs, you will also be able to enjoy more effective integrations and collaboration between various teams and departments.
- Offer Reasonable Hourly Rate for IT Services
IT systems are susceptible to several disruptions resulting from system crashes, server failures, network outages, and more. Paying MSPs for plans that wrap a complete service package into one monthly fee may not always be feasible. Certain types of work may be treated as a separate project. It is, therefore, wise to know the hourly fee for these types of projects.
Some IT service providers offer an array of flexible pricing structures that allow clients to choose a scheme that fits in their IT budget. Others charge fixed hourly fees to maintain your systems and networks, as well as your entire IT ecosystem, ensuring minimal-to-no downtimes.
- Provide 24/7 Customer Support
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a managed IT services provider is their availability for customer support. You want to make sure your MSP offers support hours that match your needs and should be able to provide services 24/7/365.
Typically, competent IT services companies assign experienced IT experts to monitor your IT infrastructure round-the-clock to ensure that your business receives continuous delivery of top-notch managed IT services.
A guarantee of 24/7 availability is important as it allows you to know how proactive and diligent your provider will be. Through constant service delivery, your MSP will be able to implement cybersecurity updates and patches as soon as they are rolled out. Further, they will also be able to put safeguards in place to detect IT issues before they occur.
The early detection of IT issues means that your MSP can troubleshoot them as soon as possible, protecting your business from further damage and impending disasters. Moreover, your IT services provider should allow you access to a 24/7 responsive support desk. This facility should be available through phone, email, or live chat.
- Scale with Business Needs
This is another key factor to consider when selecting a managed IT services provider. Your current business demands may not be as critical compared to the demands you may have to deal with when it grows. This may be a matter of a few months. You should, therefore, go for an MSP that understands ever-changing business needs and can scale accordingly.
Most reliable managed IT services providers do offer scalable services. This means that their IT services will adapt to the changing technological needs of your business IT network, enabling you to run your operations smoothly even when there is a sudden spike or drop in demand. This will give your business operations the stability they need to bring about sustainability and growth.
- Provide Proactive, Not Reactive Maintenance
Maintenance is a key part of an MSP plan. Being proactive, patching systems automatically, keeping software up-to-date, and monitoring critical functions are key to keeping you secure and running top-notch.
Most business owners are extremely busy and do not have the time to think about or manage their IT infrastructure, network speeds, secure connections, data backups, and other concerns. It can be highly risky to leave the IT environment unmonitored in the face of advanced cyber threats out there. By partnering with an MSP, you will be able to address these issues with round-the-clock coverage through comprehensive cybersecurity services.
Among the major goals of MSP providers is to detect potential threats, loopholes, and instabilities. When you have managed IT support, viruses and other minor issues can be mitigated before they can infect your systems and networks.
Working with the right MSP allows businesses to take advantage of proactive business continuity solutions by combining their expertise with customized IT services.
The business world is becoming increasingly reliant on information technology. However, rapid advancement in IT technology makes it difficult to stay on top of the latest development. Also, the growing cybersecurity threat makes it necessary to choose your IT services company carefully. It is, therefore, crucial to have dependable managed IT support on your side. A few essential factors to look for in a managed IT support provider are mentioned above. Hopefully, they will serve as helpful guidelines that put you on the right path to landing one that meets your unique business needs.
Scott Hirschfeld is the President of CTaccess, an Elm Grove IT support company that has been helping businesses stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business since 1990. Under his leadership CTaccess provides the business minded approach of larger IT companies with the personalized touch of the smaller ones. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.